Israel confirms visit by Mohammed Merah

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah visited Israel in late 2010, Israeli officials said.

Confirming French media reports, the officials said Monday that Merah, who claimed responsibility for the murders in southern France of four Jews and three soldiers, crossed into the West Bank from Jordan in September 2010 before leaving the same way three days later.

Merah passed an Israeli security screening at the Allenby Bridge border crossing, the officials said, but it remained unclear whether his visit included Israel as well as Palestinian areas.

Merah, who jumped to his death from a window amid a hail of gunfire by French police on March 22, claimed to have belonged to al-Qaida. He visited Afghanistan in November 2010.

During a 30-hour standoff with police, Merah admitted to the killings at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse and the three soldiers in nearby Montauban.

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